Biden says it’s ‘simply wrong’ to allow the DOJ to seize phone records and emails from reporters

Biden
President Joe Biden

  • President Joe Biden told CNN he would not allow the DOJ to seize records from reporters.
  • His remarks come after reports said the DOJ covertly obtained email and phone records from journalists with The Washington Post and CNN.
  • Biden condemned the practice, calling it “simply wrong.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the government seizing phone and email records from reporters.

He told CNN he would not permit the Department of Justice to do so while he’s president, calling the practice “simply wrong.”

“I will not let that happen,” he said.

His comments come after reports saying the Justice Department covertly obtained records from multiple reporters at The Washington Post and CNN.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the Justice Department under the Trump administration pulled phone records from several of its journalists who were investigating Russia’s influence in the 2016 elections.

The DOJ notified three of its reporters “that pursuant to legal process the United States Department of Justice received toll records … for the period from April 15, 2017 to July 31, 2017.” These records included their personal, work, and home phone numbers.

And just this week, CNN reported its Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, was informed in a similar fashion that the Justice Department had seized her phone records.

The DOJ obtained Starr’s personal and work email, as well as her phone records, between June 1, 2017, and July 31, 2017. Starr was notified that the records had been seized after a court had approved the action.

As long as the attorney general approves the request, prosecutors are able to obtain records from journalists without their knowledge through the court system. Prosecutors must also demonstrate that the records are related or potentially useful to “extraordinary” circumstances like national security threats, CNN reported.

It’s unclear what the Trump administration was looking for in obtaining Starr’s records.

The longstanding and controversial practice of federal investigators secretly seizing records from journalists, under the scope of leak investigations, was widely used by the Obama administration and favored by the Trump administration as well.

Biden’s Friday comments against the action mark the strongest stance against the practice from his administration.

Hours before Biden gave his direct remarks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said ultimately, the Justice Department would have the final say.

“This President is committed, strongly, to the rights of the freedom of press as you’ve seen for decades, and standing up for the rights of journalists,” Psaki said. “And the Justice Department conveyed yesterday that they intend to meet with reporters to hear their concerns about recent notices.”

“They certainly intend to use the Holder model as their model, not the model of the last several years, but really these decisions would be up to the Justice Department,” Psaki added, referencing former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Justice Department did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Insider’s Azmi Haroun contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press’ Sally Buzbee is the new executive editor of the Washington Post, the first woman to hold the position

Sally Buzzbee
Sally Buzbee, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, poses for a photo Dec. 13, 2018, in New York.

  • Sally Buzbee of the Associated Press was named Tuesday executive editor of The Washington Post.
  • Buzbee will replace retired editor Marty Baron and be the first woman to hold that position.
  • Buzbee has been the top editor at the AP since 2017.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sally Buzbee, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, was named Tuesday as executive editor of The Washington Post, succeeding the recently retired Marty Baron.

As AP’s top editor since 2017, Buzbee has directed AP’s journalism through the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump’s presidency, the #MeToo movement, Brexit, protests over racial injustice, and the 2020 US election.

Her emphasis on live coverage of breaking news events in all formats, augmented by deep enterprise reporting, has helped yield top awards, including Pulitzer prizes in feature photography and international reporting, along with six other Pulitzer finalists.

In appointing Buzbee to one of the most high-profile jobs in journalism, Fred Ryan, the newspaper’s publisher and CEO, pointed to her achievements and experience in leading a global news organization.

“In an extensive search that included many of the best journalists in America, Sally stood out as the right person to lead the Post going forward,” Ryan said. “She is widely admired for her absolute integrity, boundless energy and dedication to the essential role journalism plays in safeguarding our democracy.”

Buzbee previously served as the agency’s Washington bureau chief, and before that was Middle East editor, among many other positions in an AP career stretching back to 1988.

At the Post, Buzbee succeeds the widely revered Baron, who had led the Post since 2013, guiding the news organization’s resurgence under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Baron retired earlier this year at age 66.

“I’ve been blessed to have one of the best jobs in journalism, and I’m excited to take on a whole new challenge,” Buzbee said. “The Post has a strong legacy, a committed staff, and is doing some of the most innovative work to engage new audiences.”

Buzbee, originally from Olathe, Kansas, joined the AP as a reporter in Topeka. She was correspondent in San Diego, and then in 1995 joined the Washington bureau, where she eventually became assistant chief of bureau.

In 2004, Buzbee became AP’s Middle East editor, based in Cairo, where she led coverage of the war in Iraq, the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the Darfur crisis and the growth of terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and elsewhere.

In early 2010, she was promoted to deputy managing editor at the agency’s New York headquarters and led the founding of the Nerve Center, AP’s now-integral hub for global news coordination and customer communication. Later that year, she was named chief of the Washington bureau, where she oversaw coverage of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, and the bureau’s polling and investigative teams.

“This is bittersweet news for the AP,” President and CEO Gary Pruitt said. “Sally has been an exceptional leader, guiding AP’s journalists and news report through some of the most pivotal news events of our time. We are sorry to lose Sally but very happy for her as she takes the next step in her career. We look forward to watching Sally succeed at the Post.”

Buzbee will begin her new position on June 1. and The AP announced Tuesday that it was immediately launching a search for a new executive editor. The process is expected to take a few months.

Until a selection is made, the executive editor duties will be shared by AP Vice President and Managing Editor Brian Carovillano, who will lead AP’s news report, and AP Vice President and Managing Editor David Scott, who will handle news operations.

“The journalists of the AP are some of the world’s best people -bold, brave and utterly committed to the facts,” Buzbee said. “Each day they tell the world’s stories with accuracy, precision and flair, and the world depends on AP for that solid information. It has been a huge honor and joy to work with them.”

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News outlets including the Washington Post have retracted or amended reports claiming the FBI warned Giuliani he was the target of a Russian influence operation

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference held by Donald Trump in the Briefing Room of the White House on September 27, 2020.

  • News outlets including the Washington Post retracted a claim about Rudy Giuliani.
  • Outlets retracted a claim that the FBI warned Giuliani he was being used to spread Russian disinformation.
  • Insider has amended its reporting in the light of the retraction.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Washington Post and other news outlets have retracted a claim that the FBI warned Rudy Giuliani that he was likely being targetted as part of a Russian disinformation campaign in 2019.

In an editor’s note the Post on Saturday said it was retracting a claim in a report Thursday that the FBI had warned both Giuliani and right-wing news network OANN about Russian efforts to use them to spread falsehoods.

It read: “Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings.”

Insider has amended its report on the claim in light of the retraction in the Post.

The New York Times and NBC News have withdrawn similar claims.

“An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing,” reads the correction in the Times.

The reports all focussed on FBI raids on Giuliani’s office and apartment in Manhattan last week, in which agents seized computers and other devices belonging to Giuliani.

Investigators are reportedly probing whether Giuliani was acting on behalf of Ukrainian officials during his search for damaging information about Joe Biden, then Democratic presidential nominee, and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine in 2019.

The Times reported that Giuliani’s communications with the Trump administration over the firing of the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, in May 2019 were being scrutinised the federal agents.

Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing.

“I’ve never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government,” Giuliani said in an interview on Fox News on Thursday in the wake of the raids.

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Jeff Bezos has been awarded $218,000 in legal fees after fighting off a defamation suit brought by his girlfriend’s brother. Here’s how the Amazon CEO became embroiled in a tangled web of lawsuits and family drama.

Michael Sanchez Jeff Bezos
Michael Sanchez, left, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • Jeff Bezos was awarded $218,000 in legal fees after Michael Sanchez’s unsuccessful defamation suit.
  • Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ girlfriend, said Bezos falsely accused him of leaking private texts.
  • Last November, a judge threw out the suit, citing a lack of evidence.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeff Bezos has been awarded $218,000 in legal fees, the latest development in the high-profile legal drama surrounding the Amazon CEO.

What began as a tabloid scoop two years ago revealing the relationship between Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, has since resulted in investigations into her brother, Michael, the National Enquirer, and even the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, as well as a protracted legal battle between Michael Sanchez and Bezos.

Here’s where the conflict began and everything that’s happened since.

In January 2019, Bezos and his then wife, MacKenzie, announced they were divorcing.

Jeff Bezos Amazon Oscar After Party
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and writer MacKenzie Bezos, now MacKenzie Scott.

Source: Jeff Bezos/Twitter

Their announcement was followed soon after by bombshell reporting from Page Six and the National Enquirer: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and former TV anchor.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez Patrick Whitesell
Jeff Bezos with Lauren Sanchez and her husband Patrick Whitesell.

Source: Page Six

At the time, Sanchez was married to Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of WME, a Hollywood talent agency. The couple had been friends with Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos because they had houses near each other in Seattle, according to Page Six.

patrick whitesell lauren sanchez
Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez.

Source: Page Six

The Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into the relationship between Bezos and Sanchez, tracking the couple “across five states and 40,000 miles” and tailing them on hikes and dinner dates.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Source: The National Enquirer 

Beyond its own surveillance of Bezos and Sanchez, the Enquirer reported it had acquired “raunchy messages” the couple had sent each other, some of which the tabloid published. The Enquirer also said it had racy photos of both Bezos and Sanchez, including one that was too explicit to describe in print.

Amazon jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Source: The National Enquirer 

Soon after, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos was funding an investigation – headed up by his personal head of security, Gavin de Becker – into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were “politically motivated,” which AMI denied.

Gavin de Becker
Gavin de Becker.

Source: The Daily Beast

In February 2019, Bezos responded to the scandal in an explosive blog post, in which he accused National Enquirer publisher AMI and its then CEO, David Pecker, of trying to blackmail him.

david pecker
Then-AMI CEO David Pecker in 2014.

Source: Jeff Bezos/Medium

Bezos wrote that AMI had been threatening him with the publication of explicit pictures he’d taken of himself unless he stopped investigating who leaked his photos and texts to the tabloid. In response, Bezos published the emails he’d received from AMI.

Jeff Bezos Amazon
Jeff Bezos.

Source: Jeff Bezos/Medium

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Source: Jeff Bezos/Medium

De Becker told The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez was “among the people we’ve been speaking with and looking at” during the investigation and that “strong leads point to political motives” for leaking information to the Enquirer.

Michael Sanchez
Michael Sanchez.

Source: The Daily Beast

Sanchez had described himself as a supporter of President Donald Trump, who had a longtime ally in Pecker. De Becker told the Washington Post in February 2019 that he thought the Enquirer had published its scoop about Bezos and Sanchez in order to embarrass Bezos, and that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign were involved.

david pecker 2012
David Pecker in 2012.

Source: The Washington Post

A feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. Trump has made the Post a target over the years and has lumped together Amazon and the Post as a way to cast doubt on the paper’s credibility.

jeff bezos donald trump
Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump.

Source: The Washington Post

For his part, Sanchez denied de Becker’s allegation, accusing him of telling “lies, half-truths, sloppy tabloid leaks, [and] crazy conspiracy theories” in a statement to the Washington Post. He told Fox News that “all of the investigations thus far have cleared me of any involvement in the below-the-belt selfies.”

Michael Sanchez
Michael Sanchez.

Source: The Washington Post, Business Insider

Sanchez told Business Insider that he did not leak Bezos’ “penis photos” to the Enquirer, but did not specifically deny leaking text messages between his sister and Bezos. “I’m not saying I didn’t do something,” he later told Vanity Fair, but said his only goal was to protect his sister and Bezos’ relationship.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez
Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos.

Source: Business Insider, Vanity Fair

Sanchez had worked as a Hollywood talent manager, and he told Fox News that Bezos had asked him for help handling the scandal around his divorce. “He said that he didn’t think the Amazon PR team was equipped to handle this kind of story,” Sanchez said of Bezos.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos addresses the audience during a keynote session at the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6, 2019.
Jeff Bezos.

Source: Business Insider

In March 2019, de Becker wrote in The Daily Beast that he believed the Saudi Arabian government had hacked Bezos’ phone in order to gain access to his private messages in retaliation for the Post reporting Saudi agents killed Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Jeff Bezos Jamal Khashoggi memorial
Jeff Bezos attends the opening ceremony for a monument for journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Source: The Daily Beast

In January 2020, that assertion was backed up by reports by the Guardian and United Nations investigators, who said they had “reasonable certainty” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in a hack of Bezos’ iPhone.

mohammad bin salman jeff bezos
Mohammed bin Salman and Jeff Bezos.

Source: Business Insider

Throughout it all, AMI has insisted that Michael Sanchez is the single source behind its reporting on Lauren Sanchez’s relationship with Bezos. According to a New York Times report from January, Lauren Sanchez shared the texts and photos with her brother, who then licensed them to the Enquirer for $200,000 in October 2018.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez
Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos.

Source: The New York Times

In February, Michael Sanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos that claims Bezos and de Becker falsely accused him of providing the nude photos to the Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but Sanchez said he never had the photos in his possession.

michael sanchez bezos 4x3

Source: Business Insider

Following the lawsuit filing, Lauren Sanchez said in a statement to TMZ that her brother “secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer – a deep and unforgivable betrayal. My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace.”

Lauren Sanchez

Source: TMZ

In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word “fiancé” to describe Bezos’ relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple is engaged.

jeff bezos lauren sanchez
Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez outside the Taj Mahal in January.

Source: Business Insider

Bezos quickly filed a motion to dismiss the suit under a California law that’s intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. Bezos said Sanchez’s suit amounted to “extortion” and directly threatened free speech.

Jeff Bezos

Source: Business Insider

In November 2020, Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled in favor of Bezos, striking down Sanchez’s defamation suit. “Here, there is no admissible evidence that Defendants published the subject statements. Plaintiff’s declaration merely discusses what he was told by reporters, which is inadmissible hearsay,” Judge John P. Doyle wrote in his ruling.

Jeff Bezos

“We respectfully disagree with the trial court’s ruling and look forward to vindicating Mr. Sanchez’s claims on appeal,” Tom Warren, Sanchez’s attorney, told Insider in an emailed statement at the time. 

William Isaacson, an attorney representing Bezos and de Becker, said in an emailed statement to Insider that “journalists will surely take the Court’s ruling into account when considering Michael Sanchez as a source.”

“My clients are pleased that the judge has thrown out the baseless case filed by Michael Sanchez,” Isaacson said. “When it comes to frivolous lawsuits seeking money or attention, the law is clear — and the law worked.”

Source: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

In January, Bezos filed a motion to compel Sanchez to cover $1.7 million in legal fees following his unsuccessful suit.

jeff bezos lauren sanchez anna wintour fashion
Sanchez and Bezos at the Tom Ford runway show in February 2020.

Bezos and de Becker requested that Sanchez reimburse them for $1,676,919.50 in attorney fees and $36,019.26 in other costs they racked up while defending the suit.

Tom Warren, an attorney for Sanchez, told Insider in a statement that “Mr. Bezos’ fee request is obscene, even grotesque, on many levels.”

Source: Business Insider

The court ruled in March that Bezos would be awarded money to cover the fees, but only a small portion of what he originally requested: $218,385, plus an additional $36,000 in legal costs.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos.

The judge ruled that the amount of hours billed (more than 2,070) and the number of lawyers put on the case was “not reasonable,” according to Bloomberg

“This was not a matter that required seven partners and 11 associates,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John Doyle said. 

Source: Business Insider

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Elon Musk appeared to make another dig at rival Jeff Bezos over a report that Musk’s attention is drifting away from Tesla

Jeff Bezos Elon Musk
Jeff Bezos, left, and Elon Musk.

  • Elon Musk appeared to make another jab at one of his main rivals, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
  • “Give my regards to your puppet master,” Musk told The Washington Post.
  • The remark seemed to be in reference to Bezos’ ownership of The Post, which Trump also criticized. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

It appears that the Elon Musk-Jeff Bezos feud it still raging on. 

The two tech moguls have been flip-flopping for title of the richest person in the world over the past several weeks, but they also have a yearslong feud that began over their competing outer space ambitions. It seems Musk hasn’t forgotten, as evidenced by a recent dig at Bezos. 

The Washington Post’s Faiz Siddiqui published a report on Tuesday about how the demands on Musk’s time – including his travel schedule, personal life, and focus on SpaceX, the rocket company he also runs – are beginning to impact Tesla, leading to what some critics view as missteps in his management of the business. 

While reporting the story, which The Post said features interviews with a dozen current and former Tesla employees, investors, and analysts, the publication reached out to Musk by email and received a brief response in return. 

“Give my regards to your puppet master,” Musk said in response to The Post’s request for comment. 

The comment appears to be in reference to Bezos’ ownership of The Post – he bought the paper in 2013 for $250 million in cash. Both Bezos and The Post have said repeatedly that the Amazon CEO has no influence on The Post’s editorial decisions.

But that hasn’t stopped critics from conflating the billionaire tech founder and the nearly 150-year-old publication, most vocal among them former President Donald Trump. Trump made Bezos and The Post a frequent target during his administration, tweeting that the paper spread “fake news” and served as Amazon’s “chief lobbyist.”

With this latest barb, Musk is adding fuel to a rivalry with Bezos that dates back to at least 2004. Over the last 15 years, Musk has leveled a string of criticisms at Bezos and his rocket company, Blue Origin, including calling Bezos a copycat over some of his business ventures, describing Amazon as a monopoly, and appearing to make some digs about Bezos’ age.

For his part, Bezos has repeatedly critiqued SpaceX and Musk’s main goal, which is to send humans to Mars – Bezos has described the idea as “un-motivating.”

“Go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it, because it’s a garden paradise compared to Mars,” Bezos said in 2019.

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An intelligence report by Capitol Police warned ‘Congress itself’ could be targeted, days before the deadly siege on the US Capitol, according to The Washington Post

US Capitol riots aftermath
The aftermath of the US Capitol Building riots.

  • In a report produced days before the deadly siege on the US Capitol, Capitol Police intelligence warned “Congress itself” could be the target of an attack by pro-Trump protesters.
  • The January 3 report, obtained by The Washington Post, said Trump supporters saw January 6 “as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election” and that this “sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.”
  • Following the attack, US Capitol Police has come under scrutiny for failing to prevent the breach of the Capitol building.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a report produced days before the deadly siege on the US Capitol, Capitol Police intelligence warned “Congress itself” could be the target of an attack by pro-Trump protesters.

“Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” a portion of the report, obtained by The Washington Post, says. “This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.”

“Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the report says.

A Capitol Police spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Since a violent mob attacked the Capitol building, causing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving five people dead, the US Capitol Police has come under scrutiny for failing to prevent the breach.

Read more: There’s a reckoning coming for the congressional police force that allowed the worst breach of the US Capitol since the British burned the building down in 1814

The day after the attack, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for the resignation of Steven Sund, chief of the Capitol Police. Sund announced his resignation hours later.

One Capitol Police officer told Insider’s Ashley Collman that he and others expected to work Wednesday due to the planned protest rallies, but were told to go home. Meanwhile, reports have emerged that law enforcement anticipated violence on the Capitol that day.

An FBI report, also obtained by the Post, warned of “war” at the US Capitol a day before the insurrection occurred.

The 12-page report from Capitol Police intelligence warning of a threat to Congress was produced January 3, three days before the attack. 

The report clearly spells out the possibility of violence by supporters of President Donald Trump on January 6, citing multiple protests that were scheduled to take place on Capitol grounds that day.

It noted the “Stop the Steal” protest was promoted by the president himself and could draw thousands of people, as high-profile speakers – including members of Congress – were expected to attend.

“This combined with Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence, may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike,” the report said.

Expanded Coverage Module: Capitol-Siege-Module

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‘Kill him with his own gun’: DC police officer recounts being attacked by pro-Trump mob at the US Capitol

GettyImages 1230588468
Flowers are placed on a fence, a week after a pro-Trump mob broke into and took over the Capitol, in memory of slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on January 14, 2021, in Washington, DC. – The center of Washington was on lockdown Thursday as more than 20,000 armed National Guard troops were being mobilized due to security concerns ahead of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

  • Michael Fanone, a police officer in Washington, DC, said he was attacked by a pro-Trump mob during the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
  • Fanone, who suffered a mild heart attack, told The Washington Post that he was dragged down the Capitol steps, shot with a stun gun, and struggled to retain consciousness.
  • “We got one!” Fanone claimed rioters shouted. “Kill him with his own gun!”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The pro-Trump mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6 killed one police officer, with another committing suicide soon after. But the death toll could have been higher, with one cop telling The Washington Post that the rioters wanted to kill him, too.

“We got one!” Michael Fanone, a DC Metro Police Officer, said the crowd yelled after he was dragged down the steps of the Capitol, hit with a stun gun, and suffered a mild heart attack. “Kill him with his own gun!”

In an interview with The Post published Thursday, Fanone said he rushed to the Capitol after hearing dispatchers declare an emergency.

When he got there, he realized law enforcement was severely outnumbered.

“We were battling 15,000 people,” he said. “It looked like a medieval battle scene.”

According to The Post, Fanone barely survived that battle. One rioter grabbed his helmet and dragged him down the stems where others swarmed over him, attacking Fanone and another officer with metal pipes and a flag pole amid chants of “USA.”

In total, nearly five dozen DC police officers were wounded by rioters during the insurrection, according to The Post.

“They were overthrowing the Capitol, the seat of democracy,” Fanone commented.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

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